Monday, 24 September 2007 11 Comments
Louie Alas, Head Coach of the Letran Knights, has only one thing in mind Ã¢â‚¬â€œ to equalize the series.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is now or never for us,Ã¢â‚¬? said Alas, referring to LetranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s second game against reigning champion San Beda on September 26. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have to regroup and win in Game two. Otherwise, the Red Lions will retain the title.Ã¢â‚¬?
Letran lost to San Beda in Game 1 of their best-of-three championship series, 76-68, last September 19 and provided the Red Lions a one-game advantage to retain last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s basketball crown.
Despite the one-game disadvantage, the Knights remain confident that they could forge a rubber match if they keep playing tough on the defensive end against the Red Lions.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m in this kind of situation many times,Ã¢â‚¬? said Alas, 40, who guided the Letran Knights to 1998, 2003 and 2005 NCAA titles. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Although the San Beda Red Lions are really strong, I still believe they are beatable.Ã¢â‚¬?
Letran was beaten by PCU in the first game of the 2005 Finals, but the Knights won two straight wins to claim the title. Alas firmly believes that the series is not yet over.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a (three-game) series, and the Red Lions only won one game. They need to win one more to win the championship. So it is not over yet.Ã¢â‚¬?
The Knights and the defending champions San Beda Red Lions clash anew on September 26, Wednesday 3pm at the Araneta Coliseum.
Alas said though that the Knights “must be consistent” on their defense, have to play at both ends and deny the Red Lions pick-and-roll play.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Consistency was our problem in Game One,Ã¢â‚¬? he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have to remain focused for 40 minutes. I know the willingness and desire to win is still there.Ã¢â‚¬?
Alas, actually, stopped Samuel Ekwe most of the time, limiting him to only 14 points and 18 rebounds in Game one due to the KnightsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ double-team.
But they forgot Rogemar Menor, a third year forward, who shattered the 53-all count and turned it to 58-53 lead after hitting a lay-up and a triple.